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Muslim Gets 30 Years For Plotting To Kill Bush

This is a story that has gotten remarkably little press.

From the DNC’s Associated Press:

Man Gets 30 Years in Plot to Kill Bush

Associated Press Writer

Mar 30, 9:08 AM EST

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — An American Muslim convicted of joining al-Qaida and plotting to assassinate President Bush was sentenced to 30 years behind bars by a judge who compared him to "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh.

Prosecutors had asked for the maximum – a life sentence – for Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, a 25-year-old U.S. citizen who was born to a Jordanian father and raised in Falls Church.

Authorities said Abu Ali went to Saudi Arabia in 2002 out of hatred for the United States. The Saudis arrested him in June 2003 as he was taking final exams at the Islamic University of Medina.

"The facts of this case are still astonishing," prosecutor David Laufman said. "Barely a year after Sept. 11 the defendant joined the organization responsible for 3,000 deaths."

But U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee said 30 years was sufficient punishment, pointing out that Lindh – captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan in November 2001 during the U.S.-led effort to topple the Taliban – received a 20-year sentence. Abu Ali’s actions "did not result in one single actual victim. That fact must be taken into account," he said.

Abu Ali, wearing a green prison jumpsuit, declined to speak before his sentence was imposed. Defense lawyers said they plan to appeal.

He was convicted in November of conspiracy to assassinate the president, conspiracy to hijack aircraft and providing support to al-Qaida, among other crimes.

The jury in the three-week trial saw a videotaped confession Abu Ali gave to the Saudis in which he said he joined al-Qaida because he hated the United States for its support of Israel.

He claimed that the Saudis had extracted a confession from him through torture. Prosecutors denied he was mistreated.

Abu Ali said he had the scars on his back that proved he was whipped or beaten by the Saudis. Pictures were taken of his back, and doctors for both the government and the defense examined him, coming to different conclusions.

In February, defense lawyers asked for a review of the conviction in light of the disclosure that the Bush administration had eavesdropped on suspected terrorists’ conversations without search warrants. Abu Ali’s lawyers said they suspected, but had no firm evidence, that Abu Ali had been a target of the surveillance program.

The government’s response was not made public, but the judge decided to go ahead with the sentencing after receiving it.

A man of the Islamic persuasion?

The hell you say!

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, March 30th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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